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Fan Vs. Fan Victory Pool: Picks for the Irwin Tools Night Race

Each year, teams mark on their calendars what races they look forward to coming to.  It could be because they run well at a certain track, or because of sponsor connections, and even just because it’s a hometown track.

For fans, they do this not just every year, but over a lifetime.  A fan’s bucket list of what tracks to attend range in variety, reasoning, and desire.  Every fan wants to experience Daytona in February, or the mystique and honor that Charlotte has in May.  The season finale at Homestead has been a sold-out crowd the last three years, showing that the people want to be there for the crowning of a champion.

But for every fan, there’s one place that seems to be top of the list among everyone.  The track isn’t as big as Charlotte or Daytona, but it always brings in the people.  The distance may be slightly shorter than the average race, but it’s a battle every lap, and every corner.  Add in the fact that the lights will be shining down, it brings out the attitude in everyone.

It is Bristol, and when it’s late in August, it means it’s time to go night racing.

All the writers really look forward to this weekend because there is no focus on aerodynamic packages, or having the best looking car.  It’s who can muscle their way to the finish, hopefully without getting under the skin of some competitors.  Let’s look at who they believe can, and possibly will, win the Irwin Tools Night Race:


Misan Akuya:  Carl Edwards

I haven’t picked him in a while.

Rob Blount:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Jeff Gordon

Argggg……..do I dare do it???  Yes, and now he is officially doomed!

Kara Martin:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Kyle Busch

He’s been on a roll lately and he’s swept Bristol before. It’s his style of aggressive track and it wouldn’t surprise me if he won all three races once again this weekend.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Matt Kenseth

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Brad Keselowski

This one was tough to choose.  Surely as everyone knows, I really wanna pick Gordon because let’s face it, that rainbow car looks incredible and reminds me so much of my childhood.  But something tells me now that his teammate has two wins, the deuce is due for his.  Historically, this track and the No. 2 certainly go together.

Patti Rodisch:  Kevin Harvick

Why not?

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Jeff Gordon

Perhaps Gordon will say this before going for his sixth and final win at Bristol Motor Speedway: “Crom, grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then the Hell with you!”


Standings after Michigan:

Misan Akuya (747) Joey Logano finished 7th – 2

Rob Blount (744) Kyle Busch finished 11th – 2

Sal Sigala Jr. (742) Kyle Busch finished 11th – 3

Rob Tiongson (732) Joey Logano finished 7th – 4

Patti Rodisch (716) Kevin Harvick finished 2nd – 4

Ashley McCubbin (711) Kyle Busch finished 11th – 1

Kara Martin (703) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th – 2

Dustin Parks (683) Jeff Gordon finished 17th – 3

Mary Jo Buchanan (663) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 10th – 1

Klarissa Mitchell (648) Joey Logano finished 7th – 0


Final Remarks:  For 500 laps, every driver knows that they will have a tough task at their hands.  Each lap takes less than 18 seconds, but is a grueling effort in each corner and each straightaway.  There are no apologies if something goes wrong between drivers, nor is there forgiveness.  In reality, all that comes…is payback.

We’ve seen middle fingers pointed, heat shields thrown, drivers shoved backwards, and even leaped onto from behind.

There’s been a helmet tossed, a firesuit grabbed through a window, and countless other incidents that could be named.  It’s Bristol, baby, and that’s what’s expected.  At 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday night, it’s just another chapter in what has become the most popular race among fans every season.


Summary of Picks:

Kyle Busch-4

Jeff Gordon-2

Carl Edwards-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Matt Kenseth-1

Brad Keselowski-1

About Dustin Parks

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